Career Briefs: Prep for Job Search Success

In this issue: How far would you go to get a job? Prepping for a job search, benefits of friction in a job search, discussing salary with coworkers, importance of executive presence, latest data on hiring trends and more...

Dear Reader:

The weather here in North Carolina has been gorgeous lately. The cool mornings and warmer afternoons are a delightful combination. Spring is undeniably one of my favorite seasons. After a seemingly long winter, I am excited to get outside, enjoy sporting events and festivals, and reconnect with my community.

However, as we all know, spring isn't always filled with endless days of sunny blue skies. As the saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers." Similarly, a job search can have its fair share of ups and downs. Like the weather, bright and sunny days can be followed by gray and stormy ones.

The job market can be unpredictable, with numerous unknown factors at play. These factors include the number of job openings available, other candidates' qualifications, and hiring managers' preferences. It's crucial to approach each day optimistically, knowing that tomorrow may bring new opportunities.

To make the job search journey less volatile, preparation is key.

Take the time to update your resume and cover letter, ensuring they accurately reflect your skills and experiences.

Research potential employers to gain insights into their company culture and values.

Practice your interview skills to boost confidence and articulate your qualifications effectively.

Take advantage of this beautiful weather and meet a colleague for coffee, enjoy a long walk to contemplate new growth opportunities, or find some white space away from work to clear your mind.

Remember, just like the weather, the job search process is ever-changing. Embrace the unpredictability and view it as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Stay resilient, open to new possibilities, and trust that the right opportunity will come your way. Embrace the beauty of spring and let it inspire you on your job search journey.

Rooting for you,

Upcoming Briefcase Coach LinkedIn Live Audio Events

I am excited to continue to talk to industry experts and share their insights with you. I hope you can join me!

In this ASK THE RECRUITER interview, Somer Hackley, a recruiter with 15+ years of experience in executive search, will share practical advice for navigating the world of executive search. Topics include initiating contact with recruiters, how recruiters find candidates, and how to respond when they reach out. Listeners will gain insights on becoming the top candidate in recruiters' minds. Email me questions for Somer and RSVP here.

Scotty John, a well-respected tech recruiter on LinkedIn, will join me for a live session to answer common job seekers’ questions about the recruitment process. We'll discuss how to stand out as an applicant, what recruiters look for in resumes, and the changing tech hiring landscape. Scotty also has finance/treasury and healthcare recruitment expertise and is passionate about remote and hybrid work options. The session will be conducted over audio; you can email me any questions for Scotty in advance. RSVP to the event here.

Are you interested in learning more about an executive-only job search group?

We are building the curriculum for group "job search club" that offers resume support, accountability and job search technique training for executives. Would you be interested in learning more about this paid group once we finalize the program?

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Would You Do Extra Work to Reduce Competition?

Job seekers are finding it tough to stand out among many job candidates. The "easy apply" button makes applying easier but also means more competition. Would you be willing to do more to get a job if it meant fewer applicants? For instance, writing a one-page case study as part of the application could reduce the number of applicants from 250 to just 25.

I recently posed this question on LinkedIn, and the results, while close, showed more people would prefer the extra work.

Are You Prepared for the Transformed Labor Market?

HR Expert Josh Bersin has an insightful new article examining the significant changes in the labor market. As the baby boomer generation begins to leave the workforce, talent systems built around those employees are no longer effective and efficient. Bersin warns that as the expectations and demands of the current workforce (median age 33) have changed, HR departments may not be prepared. To attract these employees, companies need to invest in building a "Dynamic Organization" with a flat, team-centric, connected, and accountable structure. Urgency is critical in empowering employees and adapting to change, especially in service sector jobs.

Source: Josh Bersin

Is it Wise to Quit Before You Get Fired?

Are you concerned about being fired and considering quitting to avoid a difficult situation? It's a common dilemma. Sometimes, it's wise to resign before being terminated, while other times, it's not. The Balance suggests that being prepared to move on is wise. If fired, you may not get notice. If you quit, you may be asked to leave immediately. Being prepared will help reduce stress. Have everything ready to leave your office and start job searching if you sense you might lose your job.

Problems and Benefits of Friction in a Job Search

In response to the LinkedIn post referenced above, Shelley Piedmont shared her take: “Making more friction in the process does reduce the numbers that apply.”

According to an article in Entrepreneur, Google was able to implement elements of friction to improve its hiring process. Friction can be both a problem and a solution in organizations. Leaders should consider when and where to introduce or remove friction based on an organization's goals, values, talents, and constraints. Evaluating policies that introduce friction over time is important to ensure they remain effective. Ultimately, organizations should strive to strike the right balance between making things easier and making it harder to optimize productivity and creativity.

Why is it Taking So Long to Land a Job?

According to ZipRecruiter's latest survey of new hires, the job market has become more competitive, with longer job search times and fewer signing bonuses. Only 46% of respondents were able to find a new role within a month, compared to 60% in the previous quarter. Additionally, job satisfaction dropped by 10% month-over-month. However, there was some positive news, with a record number of workers actively recruited and receiving counteroffers.

Source: ZipRecruiter

The survey also found that the use of AI in job applications is increasing. Over 53% of job seekers used ChatGPT or similar GenAI tools for job search, doubling since Q2 2023. Millennials are the most significant users, with over 70% using GenAI in their most recent job search.

Should You Discuss Your Salary with Coworkers?

This question makes me uneasy, and I assume it makes you uncomfortable. However, according to Money Moves, a Popsugar series focusing on personal finances, including discussions about salary and financial habits, the answer is YES.

The article suggests talking about salary at work is legal and can provide valuable information for career growth. Sharing salary information can help bridge wage gaps and empower others to negotiate for fair compensation.

The article advises readers to approach salary conversations politely, seeking advice on negotiating and understanding total compensation. Start by discussing salaries with trusted coworkers in similar roles or those who have progressed in the company. Building a professional network for salary discussions can provide confidence, clarity, and context for career growth.

Do you think discussing salary with coworkers is a good idea?

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Do you Have an Executive Presence? Do you Need It?

"Executive presence" (EP) is traditionally defined by gravitas, communication skills, and appearance. EP expectations have evolved due to economic, cultural, and technological changes, including climate threats, social movements, and online platforms. Harvard Business Review examined the changing definition of Executive Presence and its importance in company leadership. Key traits discussed in the article include Inclusiveness, “Listening to Learn” Orientation, and Authenticity.

Key Takeaways:

  • The traditional leadership model dominated by white male CEOs is no longer the ideal.

  • Women and people of color no longer have to conform to a mold not designed for them.

  • Leaders must cultivate a confident and commanding persona while navigating biased social norms.

  • Executives who fit the old profile must adapt to evolving expectations and prioritize inclusivity.

How’s the Job Market for Liberal Arts Grads?

Revelio Labs recently examined the job market for liberal arts college graduates. Generally speaking, liberal arts colleges offer a more well-rounded education and a more comprehensive range of courses. The study found that graduates from non-liberal arts colleges have a higher starting salary on average. However, for those wanting to get a degree in liberal arts, those who attend a liberal arts college have a higher starting salary on average than someone with a liberal arts degree from another college. (Credit to Recruiting Brainfood for the original share of this article.)

Source: Revelio Labs

How Can I Help?

Do you know someone who is job searching?

35%. That’s the number of clients referred to us by previous clients. We view referrals as the highest compliment that we can receive. As a token of our appreciation, we offer referral gifts ranging from Ember mugs to Jeni’s ice cream boxes.

Is your company people-focused?

Consider sharing Briefcase Coach with your HR leadership. We are a great “white-glove” boutique option for executive outplacement.

Need to make updates to your professional documents or prepare for a high-stakes interview?

Briefcase Coach has an experienced team ready to help high performers wanting to work one-on-one with an executive career strategist.

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